Aug. 6, 2014
New research from The NPD Group shows that consumption behaviors in the U.S. are shifting and are more individualized than previous generations. More than 50 percent of eating occasions now happen when consumers alone.
Contributing to this trend is the increase in single-person households, which is now at 27 percent – the highest level in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to an NPD news release, consumers are alone about 60 percent of the time at breakfast, driven by time constraints, routine and being away-from-home at work or school.
Fifty-five percent of lunch meals are solitary occasions where quick and easy is the driving need, and, again, many consumers are away-from- home. Snacking occasions are also typically solo.
Dinner is the least likely meal occasion to be eaten alone, with just 32 percent of dinner meals being solo dining occasions. Nearly half of all families with kids eat dinner together at least five times a week, according to NPD.
"The number of solo eating and beverage occasions have wide-ranging implications for food and beverage marketers in terms of new products, packaging, and positioning," Darren Seifer, NPD food and beverage industry analyst, said in the release. "As lifestyles shift it’s key for marketers to profile and segment occasions when their product is consumed in various ways, including solo versus social occasions, in order to connect most effectively with consumers."